Great Spaces: EVK Residential Dining, University of Southern California, Los Angeles

A bright open space and stations in separate areas make the EVK work.

Director of USC Hospitality Kris Klinger says he thinks the most stunning part of the space is simply the fact that the renovation added a lot of "great color and seating elements that create these micro areas with tall seating, soft seating, hard seating, etc., so the students have cool areas to hang out."

Klinger says people are most impressed by the change in look and feel of the space compared to what it used to be. "We opened up the ceiling to make the space brighter and more open. Plus, the bright red light fixtures stand out." 

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Ideas and Innovation
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We make and broadcast short YouTube videos on TV monitors to educate our customers about cooking techniques, like how to cut up a chicken or what herbs and spices go well together. The monitors also are used to display daily menus, nutritional and allergen information, upcoming foodservice events and local weather forecasts.

Ideas and Innovation
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We use our Menu Forward idea to empower staff to develop menu items and keep leftovers in check. Product left at the end of service may be claimed by any station to become part of a new item within six weeks. I’m happy to see my star team fighting for their ideas and products; the benefit to food cost is spot-on, and my freezer has no mystery items lurking in the corner.

Menu Development
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Kayla Webb, executive chef at Muse School, has transitioned the private K-12 day school in Calabasas, Calif., to an entirely vegan menu over a three-year period. Webb talks about her menuing, and how the school’s kitchen earned the title of “greenest restaurant in the world” from the Green Restaurant Association.

Q: How did you help parents get used to the idea of an all plant-based diet?

A: The first year, we didn’t announce it. We were just serving one plant-based meal a week, so it wasn’t that drastic. We do monthly Muse Talks where we invite different speakers to our school to...

Ideas and Innovation
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When potential students come to campus, we match them with a student from our allergy support group for a tour of our dining facilities. The ambassador helps the potential student to understand how they navigated campus with their food allergy. This showcases what we do for allergies on campus, and is a highly successful way to make the students feel good about dining.

FSD Resources